SPS Supplies Water Treatment System for the World’s 4th Largest Tungsten Site

21 Apr 2016

Monmouth-based, Siltbuster Process Solutions has just successfully completed a turnkey contract to design, construct and commission a water treatment system for Wolf Minerals’ new tungsten mine at the Drakelands Mine, near Plymouth in Devon.

Although the tungsten deposit is the 4th largest in the world, it was last seriously worked during the second world war and again briefly in the 1960s. Wolf Minerals’ new operation is based on working the deposit as a high tonnage open pit operation, with the ore processed through a new processing plant. This produces both tungsten and tin concentrates and removes potential arsenic contamination by roasting the concentrate in a controlled low oxygen environment.

SPS was engaged by Perth-based GR Engineering Services, the designated engineering procurement contractor on behalf of Wolf Minerals, to not only install the water treatment plant to treat the excess process water but to also install a system to convert the arsenic removed by the kiln, from calcium arsenate to the more stable ferric arsenate.

Rich Mathews, General Manager at Siltbuster Process Solutions, says: “This has been an excellent project for us to work on as it has drawn on SPS’s strength to provide cost effective solutions not only to everyday water treatment projects but also to unusual applications.” The SPS solution not only removes dissolved arsenic from up to 150m³/h of excess plant water but also stabilises around 4kg of arsenic per day in a form which will allow its disposal to a non-hazardous landfill.

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